You are here:
Bleeding Disorders

Bleeding Disorders


Bleeding Disorders

Bleeding disorders are a group of conditions in which blood does not properly clot. They can develop later in life due to an illness or disease that someone has developed. The use of some medications can thin your blood as well, which can lead to a bleeding disorder. Because the blood does not clot properly, any cut or injury can result in excessive bleeding.

The two most common bleeding disorders are hemophilia and von Willebrand disease. Hemophilia is an inherited disorder that affects mostly males and is characterized by not having sufficient clotting factors in their blood. This can cause unknown reasons for bleeding, pain, stiff and swollen joints, nose bleeds, and unexplained blood in urine and/or stools. The more common disorder, von Willebrand disease, is also an inherited condition but is usually milder than hemophilia and can affect both males and females; it is found in up to 1% of the US population. Von Willebrand disease is the most common bleeding disorder in women.

Other types of bleeding disorders:

  • Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC)
  • Prothrombin deficiency
  • Factor V deficiency
  • Factor VII deficiency
  • Factor X deficiency
  • Factor XI deficiency
  • Glanzmann disease
  • Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura
  • Acquired platelet function defects
  • Congenital platelet function defects

Some of the more common symptoms of bleeding disorders include:

  • Bruising
  • Bleeding gums
  • Heavy bleeding from cuts
  • Unexplained nosebleeds
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Excessive bleeding following surgery
  • Frequent nose bleeds with no cause


Treatment for bleeding disorders depends on the severity. Mild cases are often gone untreated but patients are warned to stay away from drugs that can aggravate bleeding such as aspirin and ibuprofen. Below are some more options depending on the bleeding disorder you suffer from:

  • Iron supplements can be used to help increase the amount of iron in your blood if you have significant blood loss
  • Blood transfusions will be used to replace any lost blood
  • More serious cases can be treated with medications that increase blood factors or transfusions

Many people wonder if anemia is a bleeding disorder, however, it is not. Anemia results from a reduction or destruction of red blood cells in a person’s body, excess blood loss due to a serious injury, and autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.

Red Blood Cell Disorders  |  White Blood Cell Disorders  |  Platelet Disorders

Bleeding Disorders  |  Blood Clotting Disorders

back to top ]